Laura D. Vega

Laura_D._Vega Headshot
Heising-Simons Foundation & CRESST-II Postdoctoral Fellow

Laura Vega is a first-generation college graduate who obtained her bachelor’s degree in physics from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2013. She is a former student of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program, where she earned her master’s degree in physics from Fisk University in 2017 and most recently a PhD in astrophysics from Vanderbilt University. Her PhD research focused on a subclass of pulsating supergiant stars that are nearing the end of their life but are affected by the presence of a stellar companion. She completed her graduate studies as a NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellow, a program funded by the NASA Office of STEM Engagement’s Minority University Research and Education Project.

Laura recently started as a Heising-Simons Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and at The University of Maryland-College Park (UMD). Her research focuses on understanding the impact of stellar flares on the habitability of exoplanets, from a variety of red dwarf stars, using a wealth of new and archival data collected from NASA missions such as Swift, TESS, and NICER. Laura also participates in a broad array of activities and opportunities related to professional development, and increasing diversity, equity and inclusion at GSFC, UMD, and in the broader astrophysics community.

Links in Biosketch for:

“Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program”

“Heising-Simons Foundation”

“NASA Office of STEM Engagement’s”

“Minority University Research and Education Project”


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and The University of Maryland at College Park

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is home to the nation's largest organization of scientists, engineers and technologists who build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study Earth, the sun, our solar system and the universe.